[full of it]

Paleo

Posted in Uncategorized by susieyarbs on July 13, 2011

What’s that saying?  Something about how if you start thinking everyone else is crazy, you’re probably the crazy one.

It’s happening again: we’ve got it all wrong.

Food.  We’re bass-ackwards.  I’ve fiddled with the idea of paleo/primal eating for a little bit, but I’m back to it now, and doing better at it.

I think I started hearing about it in Real Food for Mother and Baby, which I bought when we were trying to conceive but I wasn’t ovulating.  I flipped through this book at a Borders, it had lists of good foods for fertility.  I flipped to the part about babies, where the author mentioned breastmilk as a given and didn’t even bother explaining why.  Sold.

It surprised me.  Nina Planck doesn’t call it “paleo,” rather, she says “traditional” foods are what people need.  That the foods we’ve added into our diets in bulk only the last several hundred years, which now serve as the biggest chunk of the FDA food pyramid (grains), are not only not good for you – they’re harmful.  We should be eating as hunter-gatherers, eating what we can grow and kill ourselves.  Unmodified, whole foods.  Fat, protein, unbridaled amounts of vegetables.  No refined sugar, few or no grains.  Dairy seems to be optional – we’ve been eating it quite a while, a lot longer than grains, but a lot of people don’t tolerate it well.  Well, she also points out that some who don’t tolerate pasteurized milk well will do very well on raw milk.  Again with the untouched foods.

Then I found out that the paleo/primal/traditional diet is great for people with chronic pain and inflammation.  So, double bonus for me.  Anything I can do to get rid of inflammation, I’ll do it.  So I started on the gluten-free thing at the beginning of last year, did really well, but fell off the diet when I got pregnant and was floored by morning sickness.  I subsisted on saltines, potato chips and watermelon for a few weeks there.

I’ve made a half-assed effort since then to keep my grains consumption in check, but hardly.  I really just tried not to do the cereal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, pasta for dinner routine.  Then I started getting a few twinges in my joints here and there, enough to make me wonder whether my RA was coming back.  Desperately wanting to avoid going back on injectables, I saw an acupuncturist and got more serious about food.

Recently I’ve been reading Mark’s Daily Apple.  It makes sense.  Our bodies just weren’t meant for grains.  They weren’t meant for lots of things that we do with them, and Mark Sisson touches on lots of it in his blog.

If it’s even remotely interesting to you, have a look here to get started.  There is way too much information for me to even summarize.

Things I was most surprised to learn – eating fat doesn’t make you fat; an inflammation/oxidation response, the root cause of which is in grain/sugar consumption and elevated insulin, is the culprit behind atherosclerosis, not dietary fat of any kind; a calorie has context (protein calories are preferred for some bodily functions, fat and carbs for others); because of how your body treats excess carbohydrates, it isn’t as simple as calories in vs calories out; whole grains aren’t any better; I should be eating about .7 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass a day, which for me (by my best guess) is around 65 grams; statins suck.

I’m by no means riding this train 100% of the time.  We had ice cream at the mall on Sunday.  Grains slip in here and there.  But at home, I eat meat, seafood, vegetables, eggs, nuts, some fruit, and occasionally some cheese or milk in my coffee.  Wait, milk in my coffee, not cheese.  It isn’t nearly as boring as it sounds.  On the menu this week is chorizo and almond crusted fish (cod, because that’s what’s in my freezer), BLATs (bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato) with chicken cutlets as bread, roasted shrimp and kale, spicy sausage on a stick and sauerkraut. For breakfast I usually either have a mini frittata that I’ve made in advance for the week, or a scramble with whatever I have around (most recently – ground sausage, frozen spinach, mushrooms).  I graze through the day – kale chips, walnut crackers, fruit, nut butter, leftovers.

Off to find my inner Grok.  Or lady Grok.  Gorka?

Oh, and I’ve been joint pain free now for…16 months?  Most women have flares within 6-8 weeks of birth.  Felix is 7.5 months old now.  Yay!

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2 Responses

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  1. anne said, on July 14, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    been thinking about this for us too. Did the high protein, low grain thing when pregnant, at least until the last few months and felt pretty great. probably should get back on the band wagon. I need to get better about planning the menu, do you use any good cookbooks or websites for recipes??

    • Susie said, on July 14, 2011 at 6:28 pm

      I bought Mark Sisson’s Quick and Easy Primal cookbook, so I get a lot from that. He also has a lot of recipes on his blog (marksdailyapple.com). But mostly I just keep lots of protein and vegetables in the freezer and pull something to thaw in the morning. Or we modify meals, like tonight we ate taco salad sans chips. Robb Wolf also has sample meal plans on his site (Robbwolf.com).


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